Ye Minn Thein, (MPM Class of 2008), Myanmar
Every journey to success, starts with a single step.
Ye Minn Thein, First Secretary, Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
in New Delhi, India
While sipping masala chai, Ye Minn Thein tells me “some people are born with a strongly dedicated heart to do good for public -- it is given and it defines you, it can not be denied”. The bright, young, optimistic man, who harboured great ambitions to help others, hails from Myanmar and graduated in 2009 from the LKY School with Master’s in Public Management. During my Christmas holidays I met my former schoolmate in New Delhi where he is a diplomat and currently serves as the First Secretary, Myanmar’s Embassy in New Delhi.
Ye Minn spent his early years in the UK, where his father, a military attaché, taught him to be honest and passionate in order to serve his country. Heeding his advice, Ye Minn joined the LKY School because he believed it to be the place for young people who ardently believe in improving the lives of others. It served his purpose: the tremendous pool of knowledge at the LKY School expanded his horizons while his core values were strengthened with the guidance of experienced and knowledgeable LKY School’s Faculty. LKY School as well as Harvard University helped him master management skills and taught him what leadership really is.
His attachment internship as part of the MPM programme, with the Infocom Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) helped to develop his ideas. Based on this invaluable experience and knowledge, he plans to help Myanmar’s entrepreneurs to establish digital info-technology, improve info-com technology and develop e-governance in Myanmar. He started implementing what he learned from IDA at his Embassy in New Delhi by computerizing registration procedures and easing information access for potential investors and traders.
In the past two years in New Delhi, he has worked to maintain the momentum of trade relations between India and Myanmar. He has been promoting Myanmar’s investment sectors to the Indian business community by being a link between the private and public sectors. He has organized trade fairs and encouraged many Indian investors to go to Myanmar, which he describes as a bridge between India and ASEAN countries. His hard work has garnered multi-million dollar investments in the energy and infrastructure sectors in Myanmar by India. India is a strategic neighbour for Myanmar, which also shares a border with fast- growing China, he believes.
While at Harvard he spent hours in and out of the class debating with his professors to challenge their conventional thinking about Myanmar, leading to the initiation of several training programs for current public officials in the capital Naypyidaw. He believes his government has started a long journey to open up to make irreversible reforms to meet the interests of the Myanmar’s people, and learn from the lessons of strategic development of fellow ASEAN countries like Singapore.
Ye Minn is genuinely excited about the recent positive changes in his country and happy that opposition champion Aung San Suu Kyi is finally freed and political prisoners are given amnesty to create healthy political environment. He too has great plans for his country’s future.
Text | , assistant manager at Executive Education